Carbon neutrality by 2050 may seem like a lofty goal. Faculty, staff, and students formed the Sustainability Council when USU joined the President's Climate Commitment in 2007 to ensure present and future Aggies have the means to thrive. The vision is to infuse environmental, social, and economic sustainability throughout USU’s academic and operational endeavors. Programs and collaborations include the Sustainability Corps, Green Office Program, Energy Wars, active transportation, Planetary Thinking in the Curriculum, Open Streets Festival, and Earth Day. The Council also coordinates with the Student Sustainability Office, which implements Student Sustainability Grants, USU Farmers Market, True Blue Reuse, and other programs. USU is also a contributing member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
Work groups make up the Council, including:
- Air Quality & Transportation explores and implements ways to improve air quality in Cache Valley and reduce emissions from Utah State University, especially from transportation.
- Curriculum supports the development of a sustainable university by promoting environmental literacy and enabling the university community to ground decisions in sustainability principles.
- Energy and the Built Environment seeks to create, maintain, and operate an environmentally responsible campus built environment that will minimize energy and water consumption, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote the development and use of renewable energy sources.
- Community, Culture & Communication supports grassroots effort of students, faculty, and staff who want to promote sustainability at USU to increase involvement and cultivate a culture of sustainability.
- Greenhouse Gas Reduction Steering Committee was tasked by President Cockett to put together concrete steps for USU to move toward carbon neutrality.